Sherburn A v Saxton A
13 August 2011
Saxton A 241-6 (5)
Sherburn Eversley A 222-8 (1)
Saxton A win by 19 runs
After a last-minute scramble for players, including two Jeffersons, a limping and reluctant Tyson and Gilbertson Junior blinking in the daylight, 11 players turned up on time to meet the one team nobody likes to play, but loves to beat, Sherburn, led by the man possessed by Beelzebub the moment he puts on his famous floppy hat.
With the Young Gaffer missing (surprise), Gilbo took on the mantle of captaincy, lost the toss and Beelzebub put us into bat. Out strode Gilbo and modest Johnny Snowdon. A steady start until Nige dollied one up to the bowler and in came The Big Apple.
There then followed the highest partnership seen in the last decade for Saxton 2nds. 168 in 30 overs. Of course, it was nice to see Beelzebub contribute to the occasion by dropping two on the boundary. When Chris was finally caught, he'd reached his highest score of the season, 67, and Johnny was close to a hundred, including 7 sixes from the pair. Johnny finally reached 110 before being caught and left the field to a standing ovation.
After this, more of the same from the rest of the batting line-up would have been greedy, but Jamie B and Gilbo Junior set about the last few overs in the same manner, Dan hitting 20 off one over (two sixes, two fours and two forward defensives!) and Jamie reaching 22 (including yet another six) before dancing down the wicket on the last ball and being bowled. 241 for 6 - the highest total of the year. It couldn't have happened at a better time.
After a lovely tea from Mr Knaggs (he'd taken off the floppy hat), Saxton went out to bowl full of confidence. However it wasn't to be all plain sailing. With Sherburn needing over 5 an over, the opening pair batted steadily against the bowling of Dunc and Prak, keeping the runrate around 4. Just before the drinks break, the second wicket fell in the 23rd over (Beelzebub run out by Tyson) with Sherburn on 104. So, over six an over needed and for quite a while they looked like doing it, but some well taken catches from Prak, Jamie and Johnny (Chris, we'll get you a bucket for Xmas) and another Tyson runout, left the target increasingly remote until 40 were needed off the last 4 overs. They had been helped however by the return of Beelzebub disguised as an umpire, along with his own devilish definitions of wides and no balls. Even his own team were somewhat bemused. 24 wides, including 6 from one Denno over (his last, unsurprisingly) is surely some kind of record. Dunc bowled out two in the last few overs, but Saxton were unable to get the last wicket and the extra point, Sherburn eventually reaching around 220ish (an average of the scorebook and the scoreboard).
So, off to the Oddfellows nextdoor for a bit of self-congratulation and to commiserate with the Sherburn team who had a determined go at it. Then to the Greyhound to hear more tales of umpire woes from the first team. When Johnny arrived, the whole pub rose to applaud, whereupon he turned pink and that shy smile appeared yet again.
So, relegation may not be certain yet. A lot will depend on the performance against fellow candidates Wetherby next Saturday.